I’m a day camp counselor this week. I have a small group of 5 children. One of my duties is to “model appropriate behavior.” To that end, I like to gently handle critters we find in the field, and observe them carefully. Sometimes I end up learning things I never knew before!
For example, take this Katydid (a.k.a. Long-horned grasshopper).
(I apologize for the quality fo the pictures, but it’s hard to take your time when five kids are all calling, “Jennifer, Look at this!”)
If you look at that photo above, you will see that this katydid did what all grasshoppers are wont to do. As a defense, he has spit “tobacco juice” on my finger. Apparently when they do this inside the mouth of a would-be predator, the taste causes said creature to spit him out again.
I was quite surprised at what happened next:
The katydid drank the dark liquid back up again! Perhaps he decided I was not a threat after all and wanted to conserve the dark stuff for a real emergency?
And then, he proceeded to wash up. I wish I had video:
My finger was as clean as can be when I eventually released him back to the grasses.
Try it! Catch a grasshopper and hold it gently in your fingers. See if it regurgitates, then reingests the juice… Report back here. I’m curious how common a practice this might be…